I’m not great at a lot of things, but some people say I’m pretty good at planning. I planned my own wedding, I’ve planned over twenty bridal and baby showers. I plan game nights, birthday parties, brunches, and teas. I’m also good at planning out my life. In my head I plan when and where we will move, how many children we hope to have, family vacations, dates, anniversaries—so many things to plan! The problem is, my plans don’t always align with God’s plans (Who knew?!).
Like the time I became an ex-fiance at the age I’d planned to marry. Or the many times I’ve had to cancel plans due to a flare-up of my chronic stomach pain. Or like this week, when we discovered three (benign) tumors on my spine in the middle of multiple major life decisions. My plans are shifting.
Honestly, I’m okay with that. I see evidence all around me of how God’s plans are abundantly better than anything I could dream up. It’s a slow growth, but he’s helped me over the years to relinquish my plans and be at peace with what he has planned. My struggle, however, comes from the uncertainty—the unknown. Due to the pain and numbness caused by these tumors, I may need to have major back surgery. But I also might not. In rare cases, this type of tumor can cause permanent neurological damage. It could be a big deal, or it might not be.
Things are up in the air. Personally, unless I’m harnessed into an airplane or a roller coaster, I’m not a fan of being in the air. I don’t usually enjoy my plans hanging out up there either. It’s not that I don’t trust God to do the exact right and good thing, it’s that I want to know ahead of time what that good thing is. Basically, I want to step out of the unknown and have all the knowledge I request, please and thank you. In short, I want to be like God.
Oof. That one hurt. But it’s true isn’t it? When we grasp at the mind of God, searching for knowledge only he holds, we are doing the exact same thing as Adam and Eve in the garden. “Tell me all the things!” we demand. Newsflash: we are human; we don’t get to know all things.
Unknowns humble us. They give us opportunities to trust God. They preach the truth of our firm foundation in Christ. In the unknown, we’re given the gift of experiencing peace as we trust that God’s good plans will unfold exactly as planned.
I’m growing in this part of trusting God—trusting him in the unknown and the waiting. Everytime my back aches after five minutes of housework and I’m forced to rest, I can trust God with the work that may not get done. When a jolt of pain strikes as I pick up my son and I wonder if I’ll always experience this pain, I have an opportunity to trust God with the uncertainty. And when the eerie feeling of numbness begins to stretch across part of my back and worst case scenarios enter my thoughts, I’m given a new opportunity to cast my fears of the unknown upon him.
Unknowns are a gift. They remind us we are not God—that we’re frail and well…unknowing. And that unknowingness reveals our lack of control, pushing us to seek the only One who knows and controls all things. In our seeking, we find him to be good, trustworthy, and faithful. Honestly, if that’s where this unknown is leading me, what more could I ask? If I get to experience Jesus meeting me in my fears and weakness as he has many times before, then it’s worth it. If in my unknowingness, I get to know more of Christ, praise the Lord for these unknowns.